Phillip Massinger

Philip Massinger (măs´ənjər), 1583–1640, English dramatist, b. Salisbury. He studied at Oxford (1602–6) but left without a degree, apparently to go to London to write plays. A prolific writer, Massinger wrote more than 40 plays (often in collaboration). He is best known for the comedies A New Way to Pay Old Debts (1625) and The City Madam (1632), in which the gluttony of the two central characters leads to tragic consequences. His other extant works, most of which were produced between 1620 and 1630, include the romantic dramas The Duke of Milan and The Great Duke of Florence and the tragicomedies The Fatal Dowry (with Nathaniel Field), The Virgin Martyr (with Thomas Dekker), and The Bondman. A sober, meticulous writer, Massinger was a harsh moralist and frequently employed humor characters to illustrate the evils of a frivolous and avaricious society.

See studies by A. H. Cruickshank (1920, repr. 1971), T. A. Dunn (1957), D. Howard (1985), and D. Adler (1987).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Massinger: The Critical Heritage
Martin Garrett.
Routledge, 1991
The City Madam
Philip Massinger; Cyrus Henry Hoy.
University of Nebraska (Lincoln campus), 1964
The Bondman: An Antient Storie
Philip C. Massinger; Benjamin Townley Spencer; Charles Phelps Taft Memorial Fund, University of Cincinnati Graduate School; Charles Phelps Taft Memorial Fund, University of Cincinnati Graduate School.
Princeton University Press, 1932
Philip Massinger's the Unnatural Combat
Robert Stockdale Telfer.
The Princeton University Press, 1932
FREE! The Chief Elizabethan Dramatists, Excluding Shakespeare
William Allan Neilson.
Houghton Mifflin, 1911
Librarian’s tip: "A New Way to Pay Old Debts" begins on p. 741 and "Philip Massinger" begins on p. 873
An Introduction to Stuart Drama
Frederick S. Boas.
Oxford University Press, 1946
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XII "John Fletcher and Philip Massinger" and Chap. XIII "Philip Massinger--Nathan Field"
Three Turk Plays from Early Modern England: Selimus, a Christian Turned Turk, and the Renegado
Daniel J. Vitkus.
Columbia University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "The Renegado" by Philip Massinger begins on p. 39 and p. 241
Shakespeare's Contemporaries: Modern Studies in English Renaissance Drama
Max Bluestone; Norman Rabkin.
Prentice-Hall, 1961
Librarian’s tip: "Philip Massinger: Social Morality in A New Way to Pay Old Debts" begins on p. 273
FREE! A History of English Dramatic Literature to the Death of Queen Anne
Adolphus William Ward.
Macmillan & Co., vol.3, 1899
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VIII "The End of the Old Drama"
Elizabethan Playwrights: A Short History of the English Drama from Medieval Times to the Closing of the Theatres in 1642
Felix E. Schelling.
Harper & Brothers, 1925
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Philip Massinger begins on p. 256
FREE! The Jacobean Poets
Edmund Gosse.
C Scribners sons, 1894
Librarian’s tip: Chap. X "Philip Massinger"
FREE! English Tragicomedy: Its Origin and History
Frank Humphrey Ristine.
Columbia University Press, 1910
Librarian’s tip: Chap. V "The Hey Day of English Tragicomedy (1610 to 1642)"
Poetic Drama: An Anthology of Plays in Verse from the Ancient Greek to the Modern American
Alfred Kreymborg.
Modern Age Books, 1941
Librarian’s tip: "Preface to A New Way to Pay New Debts" begins on p. 340
The Renaissance Englishwoman in Print: Counterbalancing the Canon
Anne M. Haselkorn; Betty S. Travitsky.
University of Massachusetts Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: "The Power of Integrity in Massinger's Women" begins on p. 63
A Literary History of England
Albert C. Baugh.
Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1948
Librarian’s tip: "Caroline Drama, 1625-1642" begins on p. 578
FREE! Representative English Comedies
Charles Mills Gayley.
The Macmillan Company, vol.3, 1913
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